Gaffer’s Tape and a Tape Line

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Do you know about the magic that is gaffer’s tape? I like to have a line for students to stand on when they go in and out of the library. A visual aid helps them know where to keep their bodies and adds routine to entering and exiting the library. I tried a lot of different kinds of tape over the years: painter’s, masking, masking tape with packing tape over it, and inevitably it would quickly be ruined by the hundreds of kid feet walking on it. Then a colleague told me to try gaffer’s tape. It’s magic. It’s strong and cloth so it doesn’t tear easily. Of course, it can be peeled up and will need replacing at some … Continued

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Beginning the Year: Stop Signs

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Stop signs in the library for areas that need to be re-taught at the beginning of the year.

Last year, I spent a lot of time in the beginning of the year teaching rules, expectations, and how to use the library. I did a lot of modeling, had students model expected behaviors, and we practiced signals, cleaning up, and entering and exiting the library. I usually rush through everything since we don’t have much time in the library and I want kids getting right into lessons and check out. However, after taking the time to really make sure they understand expected behaviors and how to use the library, I’ll never go back. It made such a difference and everything else went more smoothly. I spent less time repeating myself and managing unexpected behavior throughout the rest of the year. As a … Continued

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Library Management Tips: Leave a Message…

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Another new management tool I’ve been trying out this is year a note system. Of course we have email but as the library teacher, I’m often being asked questions in passing or have notes left on my desk from both teachers and students. I also had several experiences last year where I ran into a teacher, student, or administrator and they said “I was looking for you earlier but you weren’t in the library!”.  It was never accusatory but I didn’t like the idea of someone, especially an administrator, looking for me and not knowing why I’m not in the library.  By not being in the library it felt like I was appearing to not be “doing my job”.  As … Continued

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Library Management Tips: Out of the Room

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Happy October! I hope you’re enjoying autumn and having fun reading books about leaves, pumpkins, and apples! I have a few posts coming up with different management tools and tricks I’ve been trying this year. First up is my out of the room signs. All of last year, I had a sign out board like this: I never did this before but I saw something similar in my art teacher’s room. It’s such a great way to keep track of who is coming and going. Students must have permission from me before leaving and they write their name on the board on the way out the door. If there’s a fire drill or someone is looking for a student, I … Continued

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Visual Timers

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Something new I have been doing all year in the library is using visual timers. When I’m not using my SmartBoard for a center, I’ve been using it to project a visual timer during centers or when we’re doing an activity. I got the idea from Matt B. Gomez’s post on using visual timers in his Kindergarten classroom. I’ve been using online-stopwatch.com’s egg timer for the most part. I’ve looked at a few iPad apps but haven’t fallen in love with any so far. If I’m projecting from my iPad, I use the regular old timer in the clock app that comes with the iPad. It also has a visual element so it works fine for the little kids. Another … Continued

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